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East Texas News - Obituaries
Tyler County Booster- October 19, 2009 - October 25, 2009

Bertha MidKiff
Bertha Blackmon Midkiff, 66, of Woodville passed from earth to glory on Friday, October 2, 2009 in Webster, Texas. A celebration of her life will be held Saturday, October 10, 2009 at 2 p.m. in Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Woodville. She will lie until resurrection at Magnolia Cemetery in Woodville, Texas. Bertha leaves to cherish her memories four daughters Deirdre Taylor (Cecil), Gwendolyn Midkiff, Natalie Midkiff and Tiffany Midkiff. One son, George Midkiff, Jr. Eleven grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren and a host of other relatives and friends. Visitation will be held Friday, October 9, from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. at Coleman Tyler County Funeral Home, 511 Pecan St. in Woodville. Services entrusted to Coleman’s Tyler County Funeral Home.

Hazel Safar
Hazel “Ginny” Sutton Safar, 72, of Fred passed away peacefully on October 4, 2009 at her residence. Born March 10, 1937 in Batesville, Ark to the late William Franklin Sutton and Eunice Hazel Wood Sutton, she lived in Nederland most of her life before moving to Fred 15 years ago. She retired as a dock clerk from the Port of Beaumont with 23 years of service and was a member of the Friendship Bible Baptist Church. She is survived by her loving husband, Charles Safar of Fred; sons and daughters-in-law, Kenneth and Helen Ford of Lavon, Daniel and Cheryl Ford of Orangefield; daughters and sons-in-law, Susie and Neal Wilson of Kountze, Sandra and Kirby Dartez of Lumberton, Tricia and David Concienne of Nederland, Connie and Randy Fondren of Nederland; thirteen grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.. Funeral service was held Wednesday, October 7, 2009, at 10 a.m. at the Riley Funeral Home Chapel with Brother Jack Lewellen and Brother Kenney Molanders officiating. Burial followed at Magnolia Cemetery in Woodville. Visitation was held Tuesday evening at the funeral home. Serving as pallbearers were Charles Wilson, Zachary Dartez, Keith Ford, Toby Concienne, Todd Concienne, Christopher Parks, John Concienne, Matt Turner and Bryan Guidry. Serving as honorary pallbearer was Jackson Dartez. Services were held under the direction of Riley Funeral Home of Tyler County. Register Book can be signed online at www.rileysfuneralhome.com

Jerlean Foster
Jerlean Foster, devoted and beloved daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, relative, and cherished friend, will be remembered as a quiet-spoken, gentle spirit who always had a kind word for everyone she met. Her natural caring spirit and innate wisdom made her a “mother” and mentor to many more individuals than her children. She had an unwavering faith in God, which was manifested by her devotion to her family, friends, and community service. Jerlean departed this life peacefully in her home surrounded by loved ones on September 30, 2009, in Hillister, Texas. Funeral services will be held October 10, 2009 at 11:00 a.m. at Little Baptist Church in Hillister, Texas with viewing from 9:00 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. and burial in the Hillister Community Cemetery. Visitation will be held Friday, October 9, 2009 from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Coleman’s Tyler County Funeral Home in Woodville, Texas. Born March 11, 1928, Jerlean was a life-long resident of Hillister and the second oldest child of George and Eliza Arline who preceded her in death. She was shy but an avid learner who was committed to making the most of “growth” opportunities and making a difference in the lives of those she loved. Thus, she encouraged her children, grandchildren, and others to embrace commitment and take advantage of opportunities to pursue their goals and dreams. At an early age, she united with Little Baptist Church where she served as an usher and devoted member of various auxiliaries and committees. Her work in the church and Tyler County community endeared her to many and served as a constant source of comfort for her and those who loved her. She was married to Mr. Frank Edward Foster January 20, 1945. Six children were born to this union, two of whom died at birth. Her beloved husband preceded her in death October 21, 1976. In addition to her husband and parents, she was preceded in death by two sisters, Verma Maloy and Mary Samuel; two brothers, Herman Arline and Luke Arline, and her grandson, Frank E. Foster, Jr. She leaves to cherish her memory two sisters, Mrs. Alma L. Moye of Hillister, TX and Mrs. Rosemary Moye (Nathaniel) of Woodville, TX; four children, Velma J. Burrs, MEd and her husband Al T. Burrs, Sr., DVM of Porter, TX; John E. Foster, BS and his wife Alethia “AJ” Foster of Huntersville, NC; Essie M. McCartney, BS and her husband Howard E. McCartney, ChFC of Cedar Hill, TX; and Frank E. Foster, Sr. and his wife Connie S. Foster of Hillister, TX; nine grandchildren, Al T. Burrs, Jr., LTC of Heidelberg, Germany; Demetra L. Burrs, MD of Menlo Park, CA; Robert F. Burrs, BS of Lompoc, CA; Stephen J. Foster and Ashley J. Foster of Huntersville, NC; Kendra L. McCartney, JD, LLM of Houston, TX; Constance F. Moye, CMA, Melody Y. Foster, CMA, and Terry R. Foster of Hillister, TX; eleven great-grandchildren; loving granddaughters-in-law, sisters-in-law, numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends. (Arrangements: Cremation Society of Kansas & Missouri, 5561 NW Barry Rd., Kansas City, Missouri 64154, online condolences www.kccremation.com (816) 822-9888) John Fortenberry Special thanks are extended to family, friends, Odyssey Healthcare and the staffs of M. D. Anderson Cancer Center and Tyler County Hospital for the support and care extended to our loved one and the immediate family during her illness.

John Chandler Fortenberry
John Chandler Fortenberry, 71, of Independence, MO formerly of Pleasanton, TX, died Thursday, September 24, 2009 at his home. Cremation. Memorial services will be from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, October 10 at the home in Independence, MO. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to St. Luke’s Hospital Hospice or the Alzheimers Association. John was was born July 2, 1938, in Pleasanton, TX the son of R.E. and Callie Collins Fortenberry. He grew up in Woodville, TX and graduated from Kirby High School, he attended Lamar University, Beaumont, TX. John was employed as a Lab Technician in different refineries in Beaumont and Houston, TX and worked overseas on Johnston Atoll, Nigeria and Algeria. He was a Masonry Contractor for over 30 years, working in Texas, Colorado, Wyoming and Florida. John is survived by his wife, Frances VanCourt Fortenberry, of the home, daughters, Becky Heredia, and Debbie Tilton both of Houston, TX, step-daughters, Ann Jackson Independence, MO and Jackie Purcell, Longmont, CO, step-sons, Ken Wellman, Independence, MO, David Kelley, Golden, CO and Jerry Kelley, Syracuse, NE, eighteen grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren, brother Charles Kenneth Fortenberry, Woodville, TX.

Brandel Christopher
Brandel David Christopher Goebel, 7 months old, passed away October 5, 2009. Brandel is survived by his father, Valmore Goebel; mother, Suzie Harwell; sisters, Kelsie Goebel, MaKayla Goebel, and Julie Anna Goebel; grandmothers, Bonnie King Allen and Valerie McCoy Redmon; grandfather, Troy Harwell; great grandmothers, Violet King and Nelda Flowers; great grandfather, John McCoy and many cousins, aunts and uncles. He was preceded in death by his grandfather, Ed Goebel. A graveside service will be held Friday, October 16, 2009, at 10 a.m. at the Emmanuel Cemetery in Doucette with Brother Ken DeRouen and Brother Steve McBride officiating.

Henry Holbrook
Henry Marbut Holbrook, 87, passed away October 10, 2009 at his home on Lake Amanda, Colmesneil with loved ones by his side. Darlean was the love of his life and he cherished the relationship he had with all of his children and grand children. Hero to most and loved by all, Henry always had room in his heart for one more grandchild. A true patriot, Henry volunteered service in the Navy during WWII and was a life long member of the VFW, as well as, the American Legion. A Christian and deacon in his church, Henry was a great mentor and example to all that knew him. Henry learned the value of hard work at an early age in the cotton fields of McGregor, Texas and carried that work ethic with him to the end. He worked at the Texaco Refining Plant in Port Arthur and retired to Colmesneil in 1968. His passion was carpentry and this was evident by the many homes he built, remodeled or repaired for family and friends. Everyone that worked with him treasured the time spent with him and looked forward to the next job. A fisherman he was and he had trophies to prove it. Whether he was fishing for South Carolina Stripers, Alaska’s Salmon, and Rayburn Black Bass or for Ole Charlie on his own Lake Amanda; he loved to be outdoors with family and friends. Although he’d say not, he was a Man’s Man. He will be missed forever but always remembered by his warm and friendly spirit, genuine smiles, loving hugs and handshakes. Henry Marbut Holbrook is survived by his loving wife and friend Darlean, son’s Del Holbrook and wife Kathy, Mike Holbrook and wife Joanne, Gary Holbrook and wife Brenda; daughters Sandy Holtman and husband Bill, Jan Crenshaw and husband Dave, Claudine Stuber, Shellie Michaels and husband Ben, Clara McMillian; sister Mary Carberry; 37 grandchildren, 41 great-grandchildren, 2 great-great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by son’s Ronnie and Mike Matlock, son in law Danny Stuber; grandson Brian Hollingsworth and great-grandchildren Brandon and Brittany Wolfe. F uneral service will be held Wednesday, October 14, 2009, at 11 a.m. at the Riley Funeral Home Chapel with Brother John Adams and Brother Bill Holtman officiating. Burial will follow at Emmanuel Cemetery in Doucette with the V.F.W. Post 2033 presenting the American Flag. Visitation was held Tuesday evening at the funeral home. Serving as pallbearers were Kristopher Holbrook, Jason Holbrook, William Holtman, Ross McMurry, Shawn Gallander, David Wolfe, Tad Clausen and Scott Matlock. S ervices were held under the direction of Riley Funeral Home of Tyler County.

Eloise Ard
Eloise Ard, 71, of Town Bluff, passed away, Wednesday, October 7, 2009 at John Sealy Hospital in Galveston, Texas. F uneral services were held on Saturday, October 10 at 2:00 p.m. at Stringer & Griffin Funeral Home Chapel in Woodville with burial in Lakeside Cemetery near Woodville. Officiating was Brother Harold Davies. Serving as pallbearers were John Ard, Chris Ard, Brandon Ard, Larry Carter, Randall McCelland, Roger Holcomb, Don Michael Hutto and B.L. Kirkindall, Jr. Visitation was held Friday, October 9 from 6:30 - 9:00 p.m. at the funeral home. Eloise was born November 6, 1937 to Cicero & Lilly Haynes Kirkindall in Silsbee, Texas. She was a longtime resident of Tyler County. She is survived by her husband of 49 years, Joe Ard of Town Bluff; sons & daughters-in-law, Chris & Tammy Ard and John & Celena Renay Ard all of Town Bluff; daughters & sons-in-law, Rebecca & Andy Martin of Colmesneil and Theresa & Moni Maniruzzaman of Lisbon, ND; brothers, Harold Kirkindall and B.L. Kirkindall both of Silsbee; sisters, Louise Watts, Maxine DuBose and Patsy Ard all of Silsbee; five grandchildren, Christina Stowe, Brandon Ard, Justin Ard, Brooke Martin and Dylan Martin and three great grandchildren, Austin, Dilon and Kaili . Services were under the direction of Stringer & Griffin Funeral Home of Woodville.

Shirley Broussard
Funeral services for Shirley Broussard, 80, of Conroe, will be held at 3:00 p.m., Sunday, October 11, 2009, at the Metcalf Funeral Chapel with Rev. Elen Cooper-Davis officiating. Visitation will be at 11:00 a.m., Sunday, October 11, 2009, until service time. Shirley was born August 1, 1929, in Magnolia, TX and passed away October 8, 2009, in The Woodlands, TX. She was the founder of the Livingston Chapter of the Compassionate Friends Support Group. Shirley is preceded in death by her husband, Nelson Broussard, Jr.; mother, Grace Johnson; father, Bryant Ready; step-father, Crawford “ Pappy” Johnson; daughter, Barbara Lynn Broussard; grandson, David Nelson Broussard, Jr. and great granddaughter, Melanie Dilard. She is survived by her daughters, Kathy Stover and husband Ben, and Delores Duke and husband David; sons, Garry Broussard and wife Desiree, and David Broussard and wife Becky; brothers, Byron Ready and wife Doe and Kenneth Ready and wife Annita; eleven grandchildren; thirty one great grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren. Honorary Pallbearers are Dena Oberski, Donna Drake, DeAnna Ryberg, Danita Skinner, Terece Northcutt, Dana Pate, Heather Broussard, Brook Broussard, and Sarah Broussard. Anyone wishing to make donations may do so to the Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Church, 1370 North Millbend, The Woodlands, TX 77380. Metcalf Funeral Directors 1801 E. White Oak Terrace Conroe, Texas 77304.

Verdrue Haygood
Verdrue Denease Horn Haygood, 85, of Warren peacefully went to be with her Lord surrounded by her family at her daughter and son-in-law’s residence in Warren on October 12, 2009. Born August 19, 1924, the second child of the late Myrtie Lambert Horn and Dionysious Horn in Holum, Louisiana, she became a resident of Texas after marrying her childhood sweetheart, Cecil Haygood on August 8, 1942. After serving in the army where he was stationed in different locations during WWII , they eventually settled in Texas in the late 40;s where she remained a devoted and supportive wife throughout their adventurous 53 year marriage. Verdrue and Cecil began singing and playing gospel music on the radio in Houston in the late 40’s and went on to form a band, the ‘Melody Masters’ in the in the 60’s and for over forty years they performed around East Texas. They were awarded numerous Governor Awards for community service performing at area nursing homes through the years. L iving in East Texas and the Tyler County area for the past 43 years, she was lovingly referred to by family and friends a Mamaw. A member of the Bethel Baptist Church, she was also a member of the Easter Star. Known for always having a smile on her face and praising God, Verdrue’s great loves were her faith, her family, friends, singing and playing her accordion and dancing the Charleston even into her eighties. S he was preceded in death by her husband, Cecil Clifford “CC” Haygood; daughter, Gerald Denease Haygood; son, Larry Lavelle Haygood; grandson, Daniel Wade Seago and brother, Myrion Dio Horn. T hose let to cherish her memory are her son, Clifford Haygood and wife, Judy of Warren; daughter, Melody Seago Daigle and husband, Steven of Warren; daughter-in-law, Diane Haygood of Warren; sister-in-law, Olivia Horn of Pasadena; grandchildren, Terrell Haygood of Bevil Oaks, Derrell Haygood and wife, Lisa of Round Rock; Jeff Haygood and wife, Rachel of Woodville; Cliff Haygood, Michael Seago and wife, Kim, Kristi Scherry and husband Kevin all of Warren; step granddaughter, Sherry Seago Spring and husband, Danny of Brookeland; fifteen great grandchildren; two step great grandchildren and numerous nieces, nephews and many precious friends. Serving as pallbearers will be her grandsons, Terrell Haygood, Derrell Haygood, Jeff Haygood, Cliff Haygood and Michael Seago. Honorary pall bearers will be Danny Spring, Jason Haygood, Christopher Haygood and Dyaln Scherry. Funeral service will be held Friday, October 16, 2009, at 11 a.m. at the Bethel Baptist Church in Warren on Hwy. 1943 East with Verdrue’s great nephew, Bro. Ken Durham of Pasadena officiating. Burial will follow at Mt. Pisgah Cemetery in Woodville. Visitation will be held Thursday from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. at Riley Funeral Home in Woodville. Memorial contributions may be made to the Bethel Baptist Church youth fund. The family would like to take this opportunity to express sincere appreciation to the Texas Dept. of Human Services, the staff of Tyler County Hospital, Pineywoods Home Health and Pineywoods Hospice for the expert care and genuine compassion shown to our mother during the past six months.

James Stewart, Sr.
James Berman Stewart, Sr., 77, of Colmesneil, passed away, Thursday, October 8, 2009 at Tyler County Hospital in Woodville, Texas. Graveside services were held Monday, October 12th at 11:00 a.m. at Mt. Carmel Cemetery in Florein, LA. Officiating was Brother Raymond Alfred. Serving as honorary pallbearers were Bubba Stewart, Gerald Powell, Greg Stewart, Floyd Jasper and Travis Alford. Visitation was held on Sunday, October 11th from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. at Stringer & Griffin Funeral Home Chapel in Woodville. James was born March 23, 1932 to Rolie David & Eva Slater Stewart in Florien, LA. He was a deep sea diver and underwater welder primarily for the petrochemical industry. He was a U.S. Army veteran. He loved country & bluegrass music as he was an accomplished guitar, violin and dobro player. He was preceded in death by his parents, Rolie David & Eva Stewart; brothers, Clifford, Clovis, Lawrence, Milton & Prentis Stewart; sisters, Bertha Lee Durr and Laura Lee McFerrin. He is survived by his wife, Oddie Cox Stewart of Colmesneil; sons, James Berman “Jimmy” Stewart of Nashville, TN and Dennis Wayne Stewart of Colmesneil; daughter, Tracy Mabry of Conroe; step-sons, Mark & Greg Cox of OK; brother, Travis Obie Stewart of Colmesneil; sister, Irene Reece of Shreveport, LA; grandchildren, Lester C. Mabry, Lester Mabry, Pamela Mabry, Linda Mabry, Taylor Stewart, Jimmy Stewart, Jr. and Weston Stewart; step grandson, Sam Cox and step great grandson, Sammy Cox. Services were under the direction of Stringer & Griffin Funeral Home of Woodville.

Joe Jones
Joe Sherrod Jones, Jr., 54, of Port Neches passed away September 29, 2009 in Port Arthur, Tx. Born September 29, 1955 in Beaumont, Tx to Joe Sherrod Jones, Sr. and Doris Simmons Jones, he lived in Port Arthur for many years. He was a self employed fence contractor. He is survived by his wife, Kathy Jones of Beaumont; father, Joe Jones, Sr. and wife, Wanda of Leoma, Tenn; mother, Doris Jones of Orono, ME.; daughters, Samantha Jones of Port Neches, Christine Jones of College Station, Amy Nelson of Denton; son, David Pegus of Port Neches; sisters, Samantha Jones of Orono, ME, Tenny Jones of Birmingham, AL, Cindy Fitzgerald of Beaumont. A memorial service will be held at a later date at the Village Mills Cemetery. Services were held under the direction of Riley Funeral Home of Tyler County.

John Smitley, Jr.
John Benjamin Smitley, Jr. age 84, of Burnet, Texas passed away on October 8, 2009. He was born in Uniontown, Pa. on January 27, 1925, to John Benjamin Smitley, Sr. and Elizabeth (Matthews) Smitley. John was such a loving and caring man. He gave up a football scholarship to Notre Dame to serve his country which was one of his proudest accomplishments. He flew B-24’s in the Navy in WWII and was awarded the Navy Cross (the highest medal awarded by the Navy), the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with four stars, Bronze Star with one star, and the Navy Commendation Medal, among others. He was shot down in WWII over the ocean and survived for 17 days in a life raft. After meeting Ruby Cruse in Houston, they married and returned to Woodville, Texas where she was born and raised. For the next 30 plus years John loved cooking in the resturants he either managed or owned. Upon learning of Ruby’s ALS diagnosis, they moved to Burnet, Texas in 1999 to be close to their daughter Linda and her family. John enjoyed being outdoors and being in his yard. Going hunting with his Colorado hunting buddies was one of his favorite things to do. He loved cooking for family and friends and tinkering around in his garage. His daughter and grandchildren were the light of his life and he enjoyed attending all his grandchildren’s school events. John also enjoyed helping with their 4-H activities. He delighted in buying roses for special people in his life and made sure especially during his wife’s illness that she had fresh roses every week. John was a people person and loved socializing with people in town and never missed a community luncheon. He is survived by his daughter and son-in-law Linda and Robert Arbaugh, grandchildren Ryan, Grant and Aaron all of Buchanan Dam, Texas. Sister Hope Galderisi of Pa. and brother and sister-in-law Robert and Janice Smitley of Ga., brother Jerry Smitley of Pa. and sister-in-law Betty Smitley of Pa. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Ruby of 48 years on August 30, 2002 and brothers Buddy, David and sister Marjorie Cipullo. Visitation will be at Clements-Wilcox Funeral Home Sunday, Oct. 11, 2009 from 1-3 p.m. Family visitation in Woodville, Texas will be Thursday 6-8 p.m. at the Stringer-Griffin Funeral Home and funeral services will be Friday, Oct. 16, 2009 at 2:00 p.m. at the Woodville United Methodist Church in Woodville, Texas with Reverend Dr. Raymond Parker officiating. Pallbearers will be his three grandsons Ryan, Grant, and Aaron Arbaugh, Milt Mech, Roy Guerrero, Paul Kisel, Charles Spurlock. Honorary pallbearers named were Elton Allison, and Dr. Gayle Burton. Interment followed at the Pilgrim’s Rest Cemetery. In lieu of flowers make donations to Chapel of the Hills Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 966, Buchanan Dam, Texas 78609 or MDA/ALS foundation. Arrangements made by Clements-Wilcox Funeral Home in Burnet, Texas. Visitation and burial were under the direction of Stringer & Griffin Funeral Home of Woodville.

Plummer Cryer
Plummer Jefferson Cryer, 82, of Huffman and formerly of Tyler County, passed away Tuesday, October 6, 2009 in Fairfield, Texas. Funeral services were held Friday, October 9 at 2:00 p.m. at Stringer & Griffin Funeral Home Chapel in Woodville with burial in Ferrell Cemetery near Colmesneil. Officiating were Brother Rodney Sellers and Brother Clark Mahoney. Serving as pallbearers were Blake Cryer, Greg Allen, Kalop Allen, Scott Sellers, Randy Hamilton and Brian Sellers. V isitation was held on Thursday, October 8th from 6:00 - 9:00p.m. at the funeral home. Plummer was born June 3, 1927 to Allen E. & Anner Rawls Cryer in Colmesneil. He was a clerk with Southern Pacific Railroad for 25 years. He loved his Lord and was a deacon and treasurer at Victory Baptist Church in Baytown. He enjoyed fishing and squirrel hunting. H e was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers, Ecil & Everette Cryer; his wife of 33 years, Bessie Marie Cryer and his son-in-law, Glen Hamilton. H e is survived by his wife, Anna Cryer of Lufkin; son & daughter-in-law, Larry & Deanna Cryer of Fairfield; daughters & sons-in-law, Judy & Sandy Sanders of Huffman, Joyce & Robert Sellers of Moss Hill, and Janice & Tony Allen of Fairfield; brother, Al Cryer & wife, Betty of Warren and sister, Ora Jean Bass of Lavonne; 12 grandchildren and 26 great grandchildren. Services were under the direction of Stringer & Griffin Funeral Home in Woodville, Texas.




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